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E-Lines: May 08, 2018

Date: May 8, 2018

AFA Works for You!
MEC Communication Committee

As a continuation of our educational series on how AFA Works for You!, this week we focus on the 

AFA-CWA Local Executive Council election processes. Elections are important because Members determine the representatives for their Local Council that will support every Member in the Local Council. Local Executive Council (LEC) Presidents are Members of AFA's governing Board of Directors (BOD). As such, these same leaders elect International AFA-CWA Officers, determine the budget, oversee all Union activities.

Election Categories

Each Local Council in AFA-CWA is assigned to an Election Category; airlines with more than one Local Council are assigned to one of three Election Categories as evenly as possible.

Current Office
:1/1/17 – 12/31/19

Current Office:7/1/17– 6/30/20

Current Office:7/1/16 – 6/30/19

EWR Council 6
LAX Council 12
LHR Council 7
HNL Council 14
FRA Council 20
DCA Council 21
BOS Council 27

LAS Council 25
NRT Council 38

ORD Council 8
DEN Council 9
SFO Council 11
HKG Council 26
IAH Council42
CLE Council 63
GUM Council 65

When do elections begin?

Local Council elections begin approximately six months prior to the end of the current office term and are completed three months before the new term begins in order to allow for an orderly transition period. AFA-CWA Members will receive nomination ballot information from the AFA International Office. Remember, only Flight Attendants who are AFA Members in good standing are eligible to participate in the process. The Local Council Officer positions open for the nomination process are: LEC President, LEC Vice-President, LEC Secretary and Council Representative(s).

Who can run for office?

Under the AFA-CWA Constitution and Bylaws, candidates for LEC office must be Members in good standing of the Council where the election is scheduled at the time of the nomination and election.  Candidates should also be committed to all their representational responsibilities, and must be able to volunteer off-duty hours to their elected post.  

How are officers elected?

AFA-CWA's Constitution and Bylaws provides for a two-step secret-ballot process, both accomplished by electronic ballot. The first step is distribution of a nomination ballot on which you indicate the name of your nominee. You are required to ensure that the person you nominate wishes to serve in the position. The second step in the process is the distribution of the election ballot which bears the names of all nominees who received at least two nomination votes and who have indicated their willingness to serve. The nomination process is like a primary election, while the election process is like a general election.

How are campaigns run?

Candidates must use their off-duty hours to campaign. Candidates may enlist a fellow Flight Attendant as a campaign coordinator. Campaign expenses such as telephone calls, special mailings, fliers, etc.- must be paid out of personal funds. Donations from friends, family members and flying partners are permitted, but careful records should be kept of all campaign contributions.  The AFA-CWA Constitution and Bylaws permits AFA to assist Members' election campaigns in three ways:

  • by distributing campaign literature (at the candidates' expense),
  • by posting resumes on AFA-CWA bulletin boards space permitting, and
  • by providing opportunities to address Members at Union meetings.

If assistance is provided by AFA-CWA, all candidates must be treated equally. 

Get Involved!

AFA is our Union and we rely on input from Members. If you are interested in becoming a Union leader, run for office. If not, you are encouraged to stay informed about the issues that affect your job, attend Union meetings and above all, we encourage you to vote!

For more information about AFA-CWA Local Council elections, visit our website @unitedafa.org or download the AFA Election Handbook.

Uniform Design Program Update

As we reported in Friday’s edition of E-lines, planning for our new uniforms continues and the Uniform Design Committee, consisting of a cross section of employees from the various front-line employee groups, met in San Francisco last week to receive an update on the status of the project and to preview some of the uniform pieces that are contemplated to be part of the wear test program.


During this update session hosted by the company, several uniform prototypes for Customer Service and Inflight were reviewed in advance of the wear test.  The wear test program is but one step in the program that has many steps and is focused on ensuring the quality of the material used will function well in our demanding work environment. Participants in the sessions were given an extraordinary opportunity to touch and see the material that will be used for the wear test with the clear understanding that these were not the final uniform pieces nor were these test garments reflective of the final fit and color.  It was clear, additional feedback from employees would be sought and incorporated in the final design process.


While picture taking was permitted during this design session, permission was granted with a clear understanding that none of these preliminary garments were to be published most notably on any social media site and were to be used as part of the greater conversation.


Needless to say, it was disappointing when we learned that some members of the Uniform Design Committee broke from the group and elected to share and post pictures of these wear test pieces on social media. The impact of this decision has left many who saw these pictures out of context and without a full explanation of what they were feeling very disappointed with what they have mistakenly assumed to be the final version of the uniform.


Our MEC and other LEC representatives are fully engaged in this process and continue to do an exceptional job of ensuring your interests are represented during this process. We encourage you to remain engaged in the development process by reviewing the uniform micro site that is available from the company’s website to ensure you are receiving the most current and accurate information available.  

Retirement Specialist Appointment Option Now Available for CARP Participants

Participants in the Continental Airlines Retirement Plan (CARP) who are considering starting their CARP benefit or who may have any retiree medical question now have the option to speak to a Retirement Specialist. This new program avoids the need to wait on hold to talk to a Retirement Specialist. For those looking to begin the process or those in the middle of the process may set up an appointment from the retirement pages on Your Benefits Resources (YBR). Once set up, an appointment confirmation (e-mail or text) will be sent to the participant.

Click on the Savings & Retirement tab and then select the Continental Retirement Plan.  Links are under “My Account Essentials” or “Want Some Help”.

Deadhead Deviation Review
JCBA Section 3.I.12 and 3.I.13

Implemented on April 3, 2017, the terms of Section 3.I.12. and 3.I.13. of Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA), which covers the first and last segment deadhead deviations were implemented. Recently, Flight Attendants have been asking for more clarification on the provisions of this section. Please reference   AFA E-Lines publication, dated March 24, 2017 for the detailed steps a Flight Attendant must follow when deviating from the first or last segment of a pairing. 

Sections 3.I.12 and 3.I.13 of our JCBA provide the foundational information for these processes.  You may also contact your Local Council Representatives with questions.

Clarification of Eligible Galley Pay Positions
JCBA Section 4.G

Flight Attendants have inquired about which positions are eligible for Galley Pay, specifically if the B757 galley position qualifies for galley pay. For clarification purposes, harmonization of Galley Pay was implemented April 2017 and was expanded to include all domestic and international flights on B757 and widebody aircraft.  Details can be located in the JCBA Section 4.G., as described below:

"Flight Attendants working galley positions on B757 or widebody (2 aisle) aircraft shall receive an additional $1.00 for each block hour (pro-rated for partial hours) actually flown on such trips."

Flight Attendants seeking additional information, contact your Local Council Representatives.

Scope Protects Work Traditionally Done by Flight Attendants  

During the last week Flight Attendants have reported several instances of ground staff violating the scope of our contract by performing Flight Attendant duties during the boarding process. Therefore, we encourage all Flight Attendants to review the following E-Lines publication dated April 6, 2018  defining the provisions, in the Section of our Contract, known as the Scope Clause and more specifically why it is important to have such provisions in our Contract.

Scope protects the work traditionally performed by Flight Attendants and ensures that work continues to be available for us to perform. The end result is that the duties and responsibilities of our work as Flight Attendants are more clearly defined. In the end, scope protects our jobs and prevents the company from assigning this work to other work groups simply because it’s more expedient for them to do so.

Closing the overhead bins, confirming luggage is stowed and making passenger announcements during boarding are all duties that traditionally define our work. When supervisors or other employees perform this undisputed Flight Attendant work, it is a violation of our Contract and Flight Attendants are to calmly advise anyone, other than working Flight Attendants, that this work will be completed before the door of the aircraft is closed, consistent with the FARs. Reassure these individuals that the crew is aware of their duties and responsibilities that need to be accomplished. If all else fails, advise them they are in violation of our Contract and ask them to stop immediately.


We ask that you immediately report any violation of our scope to your Local Council, not because this is about getting anyone in trouble, but rather this is about ensuring any misunderstanding is promptly corrected.

It is equally important for Flight Attendants not to perform work that is the responsibility of other work groups: customer service, ramp, mechanics or pilots in violation of their contractual job scope. This needs to be done for two reasons. First, to ensure that the specialized work of these groups for which we are not trained, is completely properly. Further, we don’t want to hamper United's ability to accurately determine front-line staffing for these essential positions. 

As Union Members, we have a responsibility to each other, to the passengers in our care and, above all else, the safe operation of our airline. Each of us individually enforcing our Contract is always important work. Together we can enforce our Contract, while we protect our jobs and our future.

Proudly Display Your “UNION FIRST” Luggage Tags   

EAP/Professional Standards Committee

The “UNION FIRST” campaign jointly promoted by AFA EAP/ Professional Standards and ALPA is underway. “UNION FIRST” luggagetags are available from your Local Council Professional Standards representatives and as Flight Attendants we strongly encourage these be proudly display as a reminder that interpersonal issues with a flying partner are best addressed through our internal Union Professional Standards. Remember - "Contact your Union First.”

For additional information on this very important issue review E-line publication dated April 18, 2018.

Support the AFA Disaster Relief Fund this Mother’s Day through Amazon Smile  

We celebrate our Mother’s on Sunday, May 13, 2018, the date on which we all celebrate Mother’s Day.  Many of us will be shopping forgifts to honor our Mothers. This is a perfect opportunity to not only recognize our Mothers for their gift of life, it’s also a great opportunity for Flight Attendants looking for the perfect gift to continue our support of the AFA Disaster Relief Program when shopping through Amazon Smile.  When you make purchases through AmazonSmile, Amazon will automatically donate to the DRF each and every time you shop.

To ensure your Mother’s Day purchases are helping other Flight Attendants through the AmazonSmile program:

1.  Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-2341209

2.  Use your same log- in information as you use for Amazon
3.  Find Mom the perfect Mother’s Day gift and purchase
4.  Bookmark AmazonSmile so you use this instead of the regular Amazon website for future purchases

The AFA Disaster Relief Fund provides a means for AFA Members to assist other Members and retirees who have suffered significant damage to their primary residence and/or faced relocation as a result of a disaster. Since its beginning in the fall of 2001, the AFA Disaster Relief Fund has provided financial support in the aftermath of many large-scale disasters, including the September 11th terrorist attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Hugo as well as other natural and/or man-made disasters. This is about Flight Attendants helping Flight Attendants. This Mother's Day don't forget to give a smile by making sure you make your purchases through Amazon Smile.

AFA Pride – Plan to Attend the “Let your true Colors Fly” Pride Parades Coming up in June

AFA has a long history of fighting to defeat discrimination, whenever and wherever it exists. Discrimination of any kind undermines the strength of our communities. Recognizing the diversity of our Union and our work to protect and advance Flight Attendants’ rights, we must work together to protect the rights that should belong to every citizen. AFA is a strong voice against discrimination and in support of LGBT rights. We encourage Flight Attendant participation in this years “ Let your Colors Fly” 2018 pride parades scheduled to take place nation-wide in June. Mark your calendar now and bid accordingly to attend the 2018 Pride Parades. United employees will be participating in parades taking place in the following cities:

June 10 – Washington
June 23 – Mexico City
June 23 – Houston
June 24 – Chicago
June 24 – San Francisco 
June 24 – New York
July 7 -      London

For additional information or for questions about participating in this year’s parades email EQUAL@united.com

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